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Ugo D'Ambrosio

Global Diversity Foundation
Ugo’s most recent post-doctoral work, in close collaboration with the Botanical Institute of Barcelona, the Botany Laboratory of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona and the Global Diversity Foundation, has revolved around Mediterranean ethnobotany and cultural practices of conservation both in rural and urban environments. Ongoing projects in collaboration with various public and private research institutions include: i) the documentation of cultural practices of conservation of Amazigh populations in Morocco with GDF; ii) the Bullipedia classification of food products with the UB-Bullipedia Unit; iii) the yearly multicultural food fair Flavors of the World in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Barcelona with the UB-Torribera Food Campus; iv) the second phase of the Inventory of Spanish Traditional Ecological Knowledge with the Spanish Ministry of the Environment; as well as, v) in the study of sociocultural factors affecting wild food plant consumption in Spain with UAB’s Institute for Environmental Science and Technologies. Ugo D’Ambrosio is a Catalan biologist with international education and professional experience acquired in Barcelona, the USA, Costa Rica, the UK and more recently Morocco. He holds a Ph.D. in Ethnobiology from the University of Kent (UK) and two masters, one in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (University of Massachusetts), and one in Environmental Management and Leadership (University for International Cooperation). He is a fluent speaker of Spanish, Catalan, English and French and can also communicate in Italian and Portuguese.

Urban areas conserve biodiversity too!
Cities are spaces in which plants are used in myriad ways, as a result of the different groups inhabiting them: these ecosystems will thus be of great influence for the future of biodiversity conservation. Urban areas also often define the pathways of production, consumption, and exchange of plants for both rural and urban areas. Nonetheless, little is discussed in academic terms about the potentialities that cities offer for the development of ethnobotany and biocultural conservation. Recently, big conurbations, such as the metropolitan area of Barcelona, have experienced a rise of organic food cooperatives, slow food chains, food fairs, urban gardens and the reintroduction of wild food plants and underutilized crops in stores, restaurants and kitchens. Concurrently, an increase of immigrants from all continents is providing new botanical and cultural elements to the city’s inhabitants. These phenomena of reformulation, innovation, and transculturation regarding the use of plants are of particular interest for ethnobotanical research, particularly regarding how they relate to biocultural conservation.